Teagasc issue ultimatum on Knowledge Transfer scheme fees
Teagasc has threatened not to process farmers' Knowledge Transfer Scheme applications unless they have paid membership fees to the State body by tomorrow (Wednesday, August 2).
In a letter seen by the Farming Independent, a Knowledge Transfer (KT) applicant with Teagasc was warned that his application for the scheme would not be processed until his membership fee was paid.
The letter states that: "In order to participate in the Knowledge Transfer Discussion Group with Teagasc you must be a current and paid up client. Your client fee of €145 is outstanding for some time. Your records cannot be submitted by Teagasc to the Department of Agriculture until your contract has been paid."
The farmer was given until tomorrow to pay. The deadline for KT scheme applications was extended until August 21 because of difficulties with the scheme.
Reacting to the letter, ICMSA president John Comer said it was wrong and totally unjustified for Teagasc to be holding people to ransom on the issue of membership fees.
Currently, the Department pays a total of €1,250 for every participant in the Knowledge Transfer (KT) groups.
Of this €750 is paid to the farmer, with the programme facilitators, including Teagasc, getting the remaining €500.
However, farmers who are not Teagasc clients but are in their KT groups are being charged membership fees by Teagasc of €145.